Botbar: New Greenpoint coffee shop using robots to serve drinks
A new coffee shop in Greenpoint is using robots to serve drinks to customers.
Denise Chung, the owner of Botbar on Manhattan Avenue, says the goal is to make coffee ordering more fun and efficient.
“We just like to bring entertainment to the coffee lover,” she said.
While the robot baristas hand out coffee, human employees assist customers and refill the coffee machine when needed.
“We still hire people,” said Chung. “The robot is pretty much just helping the employees."
Adam, one of the robot coffee servers, takes about a minute to make regular coffee and two minutes for more elaborate orders.
In a trailer outside the shop, Adam also has a twin that can be rented for events and parties.
Many curious coffee fans stopped by on Saturday to get a look at the robots.
“It's pretty cool, it kind of reminds me of a Pixar movie or something,” said a customer.
“It’s interesting. As long as it doesn't take away from the artistry of coffee, I think it could be cool,” said another customer.
There are some drawbacks to using robots. For example, Adam can’t customize orders and the machine only serves cow milk.
Despite skepticism from some coffee fans, customer Larry Dunham says the technology can be helpful for people who have speech disabilities like his sister.
“For her, communicating to order food was always very difficult. So, she could have come in, entered her order, paid for it, gotten it, sat down, had her coffee and left,” he said.
Botbar opened its first location in Silicon Valley. Saturday was the soft opening for the new Manhattan Avenue location, which is set to officially open in about two weeks.